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Call Forward
"Why do I get the feeling you're going to be the death of me?"
Obi-Wan Kenobi to Anakin Skywalker, Star Wars: Episode II

It is common for long-running series to feature Call Backs, in which characters make a quick Shout-Out to an event that happened earlier in the series. This provides a nice reference for long term fans to pick up on and helps establish a sense of continuity—after all, the characters should remember the things that they've done in the past.

The inversion of this is a Call Forward, when a character in a prequel makes an offhand comment about something that viewers know will happen in the future, but the character him or herself is unaware of. Usually this takes the form of a derisive statement like "X? That's the Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard", where X is a major theme in the series. Done well, this can be a good inside joke in the same sense as a Call Back or even provide an explanation for why something happens in the future, but done badly it can seem bizarre that the character would say something like that.

If the predictive statement appears in a work released before the event it predicts, this is Foreshadowing or a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment. If the story is set in the past and the prediction is of a real-life event, then this often overlaps with It Will Never Catch On or This Is Going To Be Huge. Flashback to Catchphrase can be related, especially if it's preceded by "I'm only going say this once..." or "I can't believe I'm saying this, but..."


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Soul Eater Not!, the prequel to Soul Eater, Kim is called the "witch of the girls' dormitory" because she is mean to the other students in the girls' dormitory. It was revealed around chapter 50 of Soul Eater proper that Kim is actually a witch.
    • The 'old lady' that acts as the DWMA mission receptions makes an appearance in Not!, where she explains she was a student in the EAT class, and even though she's retired she'll be quick to jump to the front lines if the students ever need her. In the main manga she had already done so, joining the fight in the last arc of the series, and had already been killed.
  • The first chapter of Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium World is set before the original Yu-Gi-Oh. Sugoroku Muto (Yugi's grandpa) is a skilled gamer that says that if he ever loses a game, he'll trade his suit and fedora for a pair of overalls and a bandanna, and will open a game store. Apparently he lost.
  • Due to Anachronic Order, the anime version of The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya has this. Even if watched in chronological order, there are still a few of these, mostly because the light novels the series was adapting were ahead of the anime, so the producers knew exactly what was coming.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Movie 1st The Comics, a later retelling of the first season, added a scene where Fate talks about barrier-piercing strategies with Linith. One of the tactics brought up by Fate was the idea of creating a massive blade of concentrated magic that she could use to slice through her opponent's barrier, something Linith says wasn't a good idea for the still small Fate, but would be a great technique for Fate in the future when she's grown enough to wield it effectively. This was a reference to an attack Fate acquired at the end of the second season, but didn't master enough to use frequently until the third season when she was already an adult.
  • Genbu Warriors Hikitsu and Tomite of Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden made offhand comments indicating how it's impossible to meet The Suzaku Warriors of Fushigi Yuugi since it's most likely they're a couple of hundred years apart.
  • In the Saint Beast OVAs, young Kira and Maya are searching around the treasury and find the twins of Saint Beast weapons that will eventually be used to brainwash Goh, Shin, Rey, and Gai to betray their friends.
  • Gundam Unicorn, veritable redtube of Continuity Porn that it is, has a few nods to future Gundam shows, such as Gundam F91 (the transforming tank MS Loto being a prototype of the Guntank R-44, Banagher having a part time job at a company owned by the Ronah family), Hathaway's Flash (the Kshatriya R's Funnel Missiles being a forerunner of a weapon that appears in the novel) and even the obscure novel and radio play Gaia Gear which was assumed to be non-canon (both feature a Federation counter-terrorist group called the Manhunters).

     Audio Drama 

    Comic Books 
  • The DCU "Year One" stories are built on these.
    • In JLA: Year One, the League's security system is made by Kord Industries. "Screw taking over the family business," says young Ted Kord to himself when the JLA come to pick it up, "I want to be one of those guys!"
    • In World's Finest: Seventh Year (published 1999, but set shortly after Action Comics #643 from July 1989), Batman and Superman discuss situations in which they'd be tempted to kill. Bruce asks Clark what he'd do if a being of pure destruction was destroying Metropolis. The image of this hypothetical beast is shadowed, but unmistakably Doomsday.
    • Ninth Year has a gang of crooks take advantage of the confusion following The Death of Superman by posing as even more claimants during Reign of the Supermen. One of them, claiming to have "evolved to the next life-stage of Kryptonian development", has energy powers and a blue-and-white costume with a lightning-bolt "S". It doesn't look exactly like the Superman-Blue outfit, but it looks similar enough to make the point.
    • And Tenth Year ends with Clark warning Bruce "Don't expect Superman to look away again if Gotham needs help, just because Batman declares it's off limits", and Bruce responding "And don't expect Batman to stand aside the next time Superman decides he's the only one who can solve the world's problems." At the time of publication the Bat Family Crossover Batman: No Man's Land (in which not Batman but the US Government declares Gothan off limits) was ongoing, and the Super Family Crossover Superman Rex (in which Superman seemingly takes over the world for its own good) had recently finished.
    • In Robin: Year One, Dick defeats Mark Desmond, Blockbuster, by tricking the Dumb Muscle into knocking himself out. He comments that he'd hate to fight someone who was like Blockbuster only smart. In Nightwing, his archenemy was Desmond's brother Roland, who took the Blockbuster formula after Mark's death, and then made a deal with Neron to become superintelligent as well. Also in the same story, The Joker reacts to Two-Face's desire for revenge on the Boy Wonder by unsmilingly telling him he's already claimed Robin's death.
    • In the Brave and the Bold miniseries featuring Hal Jordan and Barry Allen, Barry, who is a scientist, mentions using the Parallax effect to calculate distance. Hal Jordan notes the word.
  • In Batman: Lovers & Madmen, one of the Joker's many origins, "Jack" gets inspired to go from bored hitman to Mad Artist after a conversation with a blonde waitress who wants to be a psychiatrist. When the Joker anonymously pays her tuition, she turns out, of course, to be Harleen Quinzel. Later on in the story, Batman asks for help from a Dr.Jonathan Crane for help with figuring out how to beat "Jack".
  • In the X-Men: First Class oneshot Iceman & Angel, Bobby discusses how totally cool it would be if Warren's wings were made of knives.
  • The Noob comic is a Broad Strokes adaptation written by the creator of the webseries of the same name. By the time something gets Foreshadowing in the comic, it usually already happened in the webseries and novels, whose timeline is progressing faster.
  • The penultimate story arc of The Punisher MAX dealt with Frank's difficulty adjusting to civilian life, including a fellow soldier saying he couldn't imagine Castle taking his kids on a family picnic.
  • In X-Men: The Hidden Years, Mastermind fails to trick Jean Grey by making the Blob look like Cyclops. He concludes that he'd need to come up with a more detailed illusion over a period of time.
  • In a Deadpool fake "inventory story", supposedly written in The Seventies, Peter Parker chides Flash Thompson (still firmly in his Jerkass persona) for parking in a disabled space. Future Handicapped Badass Flash is callously dismissive of "legless people".

    Fan Works 
  • In Back To The Future Prequel, young Marty mentions an interest in time travel.
  • In Better Angels, a For Want of a Nail fic about Shane Walsh killing Rick Grimes, Shane notes that a person needs to be bitten to turn into a Walker. Due to Rick's demise, the secret that Dr. Jenner told Rick is never revealed, so Shane nor anyone else in the Atlanta group is initially aware, and Shane shoots Rick's head before he can reanimate as Shane did in canon.
  • In the rewritten version of Calvin and Hobbes: The Movie, Calvin mentions trying to stuff a portal to another dimensionnote  into a cube. He does just that in Calvin & Hobbes: The Series.
  • Cadance Of Cloudsdale, being set a few decades before the main series, has quite a few. For example, Cadance mentions that Twilight Sparkle is really dedicated to learning magic, and might make a good student of Celestia'snote .
  • Chapter 1 of the Adventures on the Friendship Express Spin-Off story of Sonic Generations: Friendship is Timeless to Sonic Lost World. As far as Sonic canon is concerned, that hasn't happened yet.
  • Turnabout Storm has several to Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney:
    • After Twilight claims Phoenix has children: "(Me with children? That'll be the day)". Fast forward a few years and Phoenix has a daughter now.
    • "(Of course I know how to make cupcakes; what does she think I am, a hobo?)". Fast forward a few years again and Phoenix looks like a hobo.
    • And, of course, Twilight seeing black psyche-locks, which Phoenix would not encounter in his canon until several years later.
    • The fan novelization has some call forwards of its own to later events of FiM canon. For instance, chapter 50 has a scene where Trixie teleports out of the courthouse and teleports back in with a package of peanut butter crackers. This is a reference to a scene in My Little Pony Equestria Girls where Trixie obtains a package of peanut butter crackers from a vending machine.
  • Queen Of All Oni: In one flashback, when Hiruzen posthumously spoke to Tarakudo through his own severed head, Tarakudo found the concept of a floating head fascinating. This implies it inspired his own eventual transformation into a floating head.
  • The WWE story, One More Time, takes place in 2005. During the story, Molly Holly asks Eddie Guerrero what his family will do if anything happens to him, sarcastically presenting the idea of Eddie's wife, Vickie, getting a job with WWE.
    • The story also has Molly talking about "this girl named Beth" that she helped get placed in OVW.
  • The Stalking Zuko Series: a respected Ba Sing Se therapist named Dr. Wang is noted to have a very nice beard that Smellerbee imitates when trying to help Jet talk about his problems. Guess where Sokka got his inspiration for the Wang Fire beard?

    Film 
  • The Star Wars prequel trilogy is loaded with these, especially Episode III:
    • Obi-Wan says to Anakin "You'll be the death of me."
    • C-3PO tells R2-D2 "I can assure you they will never get me onto one of those dreadful starships."
    • Obi-Wan escapes Jango Fett by cutting his engines and hiding on an asteroid. When Han Solo attempts a similar trick in The Empire Strikes Back Jango's son Boba Fett uses the same trick, which allows him to pursue Han Solo when he uses the trick.
    • The murder by Force Lightning that happens before and after Anakin's Face-Heel Turn. These give Force Lightning a big emotional weight on him, which may have helped Darth Vader's Heel-Face Turn in Return of the Jedi.
    • And then there's the deleted scene from The Phantom Menace in which Greedo is warned he'll meet a sticky end...
    • At the end of The Phantom Menace, Senator Palpatine congratulates little Anakin on his heroics and that he'll be "watching [his] career with great interest."
    • The Star Wars Expanded Universe has this down to an art form. The books about Obi-Wan's own Padawan years have a particularly cruel example with a planet that is turned into a Stalinist nightmare because their leaders had visions of "Darkness covering the galaxy" coming from the Jedi and the Republic. After considering this ridiculous Qui-Gon himself then has a vision of Obi-Wan as an old man living on a backwater planet with "only his sad memories as company". Nice.
    • The appearance of the young Uncle Owen (who happens to be Anakin's stepbrother, and who completed C-3PO) and Aunt Beru in Attack of the Clones.note 
    • The Fate of the Jedi books are getting into this, with regard to Legacy. Example: In Outcast, Jag recommends that Jaina train a Jedi organization for The Remnant (it turns out that Tahiri founds the Imperial Knights, instead of her).
  • Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins is full of these, the least of which being Velma referencing the first ever episode of Scooby Doo, Where Are You? at the end by suggesting they check out some "strange happenings at the museum."
  • In Quiz Show, a network executive who's being Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee for rigging TV quizzes makes a great show of not being the least bit worried about the impact it will have on the industry even if they are exposed, because people will tune in anyway just to watch the drama unfold. He also suggests that if they can't give the contestants the answers anymore, they can achieve the same results by just making the questions easier.
  • X-Men: First Class has a few. For instance, not long after becoming a cripple, Xavier makes a remark akin to "Next thing you know, I'll go bald."
    • When readying to use Cerebro for the first time, Hank McCoy says the helmet would fit better if Xavier was bald, prompting Xavier to quickly snap with, "Don't touch my hair."
  • Almost Famous has Jimmy Fallon's slimy agent character telling the guys from Stillwater to get themselves paid:
    Dennis Hope: "If you think Mick Jagger will still be out there trying to be a rock star at age fifty, then you are sadly, sadly mistaken."
  • Seeing how The Hobbit is a prequel (the film, not the book), this was expected. There are LOADS:
    • Bilbo spares Gollum's life. From The Fellowship Of The Ring:
    Frodo: It's a pity Bilbo didn't kill him when he had the chance.
    Gandalf: Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo's hand.
    • The warg riders' meeting place with Azog to tell him that they've lost Thorin's Company is Weathertop.
    • Gandalf has trouble with Bilbo's chandelier, just as he does in Fellowship of the Ring.
      • He also calls upon the eagles with the help of a moth/butterfly.
      • He catches a glimpse of Bilbo pocketing the ring, setting up his knowledge that Bilbo has some sort of ring in Fellowship of the Ring.
      • During the unexpected party, he berates the dwarves by standing up, with his shadow filling the room, as his voice gains a threatening tone, just like he does in Fellowship, when Bilbo accuses him of wanting the Ring for himself.
    • The Ring pops onto Bilbo's finger exactly as it does onto Frodo's for the first time.
    • Saruman comments disparagingly on Radagast's fondness for mushrooms, much like his comment in Fellowship of the Ring about Gandalf's "love of the halfings' leaf".
    • The three trolls turn to stone in the exact same positions we see them in during Fellowship.
    • Balin carries the big book that the Fellowship finds in Moria, recording the last moments of the colony.
    • The elven cavalry's trumpet sounds the same as the one Haldir's reinforcements use at Helm's Deep in The Two Towers.
    • Dwarven women do in fact have beards, as described by Aragorn in Two Towers.
    • When Radagast goes to investigate Dol Guldur, he is attacked by the Witch King of Angmar's ghostly human form.
  • The opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade featuring River Phoenix as a young Indy is one big Call Forward.

    Literature 
  • While watching an orc gladiator called Thrall fight in Durnholde Keep, the titular character in Arthas: Rise of the Lich King worries that if the orc escapes, he could teach his considerable tactical and strategical skills to other orcs, triggering the orcs' resurgence as a major faction in Azeroth. Another Warcraft Expanded Universe novel, Lord of the Clans, features Thrall doing exactly that.
    • The two books are written by the same woman, Christie Golden, and the reference is a rare not-very-disruptive tidbit of Author Appeal.
  • The Provost's Dog series by Tamora Pierce is set two hundred years before current [[Literature/Tortall]] continuity. The second book in particular, Bloodhound, is rife with references to locations, nations and noble families that feature heavily in the other Tortall books. One notable example is Sir Lionel of Trebond, the ancestor of the heroine of the first ever Tortall series, Song of the Lioness. Luckily she doesn't inherit his personality, though.
  • Quite a few in Terry Pratchett's Night Watch, such as when a time-travelling Vimes inadvertently gives CMOT Dibbler the idea for his trademark Catch Phrase.
  • Michael A Stackpole loved doing these in the X-Wing Series, mostly to Timothy Zahn's (written earlier but set chronologically later) The Thrawn Trilogy. Just a few of them:
    • The lost Katana fleet being mentioned in a 'might as well wish for the moon' phrase.
    • Talon Karrde appears, along with his right-hand man Quelev Tapper (who suffered Death by Origin Story in his first written appearance, set after Stackpole's books)
    • Brief mentions of Thrawn being out in the Rim by Ysanne Isard and Kirtan Loor.
    • Thanks to The Force making him very lucky, Corran finds a hold-out blaster hidden in a datacard box in an Imperial library; in The Thrawn Trilogy Mara mentions, while taking one from a different library, that keeping hold-out blasters in the "Corvis Minor" box is standard procedure.
    • Ch'hala trees are mentioned; Corran wonders if they're passive weapon scanners.
  • Zahn makes references too. In Allegiance, Disra has connections to criminals, Vader is suspected of snooping through records related to Prince Xizor, and Leia mentions in the narration that her father taught her to breathe deeply and deliberately to calm herself. Though that last might not have been deliberate.
  • In the foreword of Agatha Christie's short story collection The Labours of Hercules (1947), Hercule Poirot expresses a desire to retire to the country and grow vegetable marrows - exactly how he's spending his retirement in The Murder of Roger Akroyd (1926).
  • In Robert E. Howard's "Black Colossus" Conan the Barbarian is told that his new harness makes him look better than many kings, and the narrator explicitly tells us he will remember that years later.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has the Horus Heresy series of novels, which details the titular event about 10,000 years before the "current day" of the game that permanently crippled the Imperium, and lead to the current state of the setting. All throughout the series, this trope occurs many, many times.
    • The very first chapter, beside being a sort of framing device for the series, was essentially a giant You Should Know This Already moment.
  • In one of the BIONICLE: Adventures books, which is a Flashback series, one of the characters mentions that he hopes he'll never have to see the creepy Bohrok again after chancing upon their nest. A Bohrok invasion happened 1000 years later — two years prior in real-time.
  • There are several of these in the Diogenes Club series, which wasn't written in chronological order.
    • In "Sorcerer, Conjurer, Wizard, Witch", set in The Thirties, Charles Beauregard, dealing with yet another Great Enchanter, wonders vaguely if they "crawl fully grown from filthy water". We don't learn if this is the case for Colonel Zenf, but it certainly is for his successor in The Eighties, Derek Leech, who according to The Quorum emerged from the pollution of the Thames in precisely this manner in 1961 (according to "Cold Snap", immediately after Zenf's death).
    • "Cold Snap" itself contains multiple calls-forward, since it ties all of Newman's contemporary fantasy/horror novels into the Diogenes Club timeline by way of appearances from significant characters but is set before most of said novels.
    • In The Serial Murders, Richard Jeperson meets an annoying parapsychologist named Adam Onions who works for an outfit called IΨT ("I-Psi-T", pronounced like "Eyesight"). IΨT first appeared in Jago and Onions features in Swellhead, both of which are set after The Serial Murders but were written earlier.
  • In Infernal Devices Magnus tells Tessa he has a thing for people with blue eyes and black hair. Who has blue eyes and black hair? Alec from The Mortal Instruments!
    • Also, Henry talking about inventing the Sensor.
    • Remember City of Fallen Angels when Jace sleeps in the Silent City and sees initials scratched onto the wall? Clockwork Prince reveals that those stood for "Jessamine Gray."
  • In the prequel to The Tripods, there's a scene where the protagonist, Laurie, looks up at the sky and wonders if sometime in the future, other humans will look up at the sky and 'dream of freedom'. This is a callback to a scene in the first book where Will, Henry and Beanpole find themselves looking up at the sky after they arrive in at the mountain resistance base.

    Live Action TV 
  • Angel: A flashback to WWII in the episode "Why We Fight" contained the following dialogue (they were stuck on a submarine at the time):
    Angel: I'm not getting trapped at the bottom of the sea!
    Spike: And I'm not getting experimented on by the government!
    • This becomes even more awesome if you've paid attention. Angel was drafted by the then-new Initiative, who does the aforementioned experimenting on Spike in 1999 or 2000 and the experiment is hinted to be based off the Nazi research the US was trying to get off that ship, which Spike torched. Spike also wears the Nazi uniform because he likes the jacket, a call forward to the history of his famous leather duster, which was also taken from the corpse of an enemy. Also, weights are used to sink Angel to the bottom of the sea, much like what his son Conner would do to him almost 60 years later. Spike being forced to rush for cover before sunrise before he gets burned up is a call forward to the running gag of him running through Sunnydale, on fire, to get places during daylight on the parent show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • In Spike's first appearance, Giles mentions that he got his nickname by driving railroad spikes through his victims' heads. Three seasons later, "Fool For Love" reveals that, before he became a vampire, Spike was a fop best known for his atrocious poetry; one of his "critics" claims that he'd rather have a railroad spike driven through his head than listen to it. Apparently, he got his wish.
  • Breaking Bad: Done in one episode, and rather fiendishly. Jane, via flashback: "That was so sweet, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little..." Jane died by asphyxiating on her own vomit
    • The writers had a lot of fun with Jane. In another episode before her death, Jesse is cooking her breakfast and is disappointed that she wakes up before he can surprise her. Jesse: "You weren't supposed to wake up!" Jane: "Ever, or...?". Only a couple of episodes later - she doesn't.
  • Doctor Who: In the episode "Flesh and Stone", River Song unwittingly references her own death in her future from last season.
    • And it happened again in "The Impossible Astronaut." Rather more poignantly this time around.
    • River Song is prone to these, due to the extremely timey-wimey nature of her time-line. Like how in "The Wedding of River Song", where the Doctor is (apparently) about to die; River says that 'Time can be rewritten', with the Doctor responding "Don't you dare," the same thing she said at her death. And the way that she knocked the Doctor out and hand-cuffed him to take his place in a Heroic Sacrifice was exactly the same thing her mum, Amy did, in "The Eleventh Hour".
    • Quite a few show up in The Day of The Doctor.
      • The 10th Doctor says, "I don't wanna go."
      • At one point, 10 finds 11's fez. And puts it on.
  • Downton Abbey: Mrs Hughes does a corker when it comes to this trope; it's so bad that millions of fans still smack their hands to their heads when they hear it. "What if there's a flood? What if there's a war?" - that line is in 1913... and we ALL know that 1914 brings said war that she used in her example.
  • Friends: A flashback has Ross proudly tell his parents that his new girlfriend is really athletic; she's on the lacrosse team and the golf team. Yes, Carol "plays for both teams"...
    • ...but it's stated numerous times that she's a lesbian.
      • True, but it's implied that Carol and Susan begin dating while she is still with Ross, so there may have been a period of bisexuality.
      • Plus Carol kissed Ross when Susan had to work on Valentine's Day.
    • Friends has loads, especially in their first flashback episode: Phoebe mentions that "cute naked guy" was starting to put on some weight, Ross is excited about Carol befriending "a Susan something" and encourages her to have a "girl's night", Chandler says he doesn't wanna have a roommate handsome enough to relegate him (Chandler) as "the funny one", Monica runs into Rachel and then bets she's never gonna see her again, the gang (then consisting of four of the six main characters) comment on how the bar is closing and wonder where are they going to hang out...
    • In "The One With All The Thanksgivings", there's a flashback where a teenage Monica has a crush on Chandler and makes him som mac'n'cheese for Thanksgiving dinner. Afterward she asks if he liked it, and he somewhat sarcastically remarks, "Yeah, it was great. You should be a chef." Monica giggles and says, "Okay!"
  • Home Improvement: On one episode, Tim shows the audience the pilot episode of Tool Time to celebrate the show's fifth anniversary. The pilot consisted of a bearded Tim and clean-shaven Al, who also had complete faith in "an expert like Tim" wielding a giant sledgehammer while Al held the stake...
  • Little House on the Prairie: One episode, set in the late 1800s, has a serious example. A Jewish man tells his son, Percival, that their people have to make sure to keep their culture alive because for centuries people have tried to destroy their people. Percival dismisses this by saying that "People are more educated now. That kind of craziness won't happen again." What makes this even more notable is the fact that Percival is probably the most intelligent and sensible character in the episode, maybe the entire series.
    • Well, Percival was right in his suspicion that "that kind of craziness" wouldn't happen in America, which is where they are and (presumably) where they're going to stay.
  • LOST: In the episode "Meet Kevin Johnson," Sayid becomes violently angry at Michael because he is working for Ben. Of course, we learned five episodes earlier that in the future Sayid himself will be working for Ben.
  • Mad Men: A staple, with respect to Real Life historical events. The unfortunate scheduling of Roger Sterling's daughter's wedding for November 23, 1963 (the day after John F. Kennedy's assassination) is merely the most blatant.
    • One that stands out as particularly funny to New Yorkers is the time Peggy considers the impending construction of the Second Avenue Line to be a serious plus for buying a new apartment on the Upper East Side in Season 6 (1968). The Second Avenue Line only broke ground in 2007, and is optimistically expected to open in 2016.
  • Merlin: In an early episode, whilst watching Arthur and Lancelot share a drink together, Merlin jokingly invites Guinevere to play a game of "Who Would You Rather?" She laughs and states that she'll never have to chose between them. Only the audience knows that one day she'll have to do exactly this, and that the entire future of Camelot may rise or fall on her choice.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: Used to throw these in once in a while in relation to future Real Life events, but the writers are getting pretty heavy-handed in Season 5 to the point where it's happening at least Once per Episode. And they're not being very subtle either. In a recent episode Detective Murdoch and Constable Crabtree are pondering the possible uses of a sonically-activated switch used to execute the Murder of the Week which actually turns out to be an elaborate suicide:
    Crabtree: Perhaps one day you could turn lights on and off by clapping your hands.
  • NCIS: The episode "Baltimore" has flashbacks to how Gibbs and DiNozzo met when DiNozzo was a Baltimore detective. The episode is littered with Call Forwards.
    Tony DiNozzo: Be a Navy cop? I'd rather have the plague.
  • Once Upon a Time: When Snow meets Red for the first time, she's not yet sure she can trust her so she throws out three different aliases- "Frosty," "Margaret," and "Mary." "Mary Margaret" ends up being the name of her counterpart in Storybrooke.
  • Person of Interest: the Whole Episode Flashback "Ram" was shot through with them.
  • Poirot: At the end of "The Blue Train"; one of the characters expresses a desire to travel, and remarks that she's booked passage on the Orient Express. She inquires whether Poirot has ridden that train; Poirot replies that he hasn't but he must get around to it some day. We all know that he will, and what will happen when he does...
  • Revolution: In episode 10, in a flashback to the Trenton Campaign (that happened 10 years ago), Monroe jokes that they will run out of bullets and will have to use swords like pirates. He was right.
  • Smallville: Constantly. Yes, we get it, he's going to be Superman.
  • Stargate SG-1: This occurs in a season eight episode, but in this case the reference is to the spin-off series Stargate Atlantis. After the Atlantis team goes through the gate to the Pegasus galaxy, those on Earth have had no contact from them and don't know what they've found on the other side. The audience, having watched the other series, does know: they're in the Lost City, which is actually a city-sized spaceship that until recently was at the bottom of an ocean. However, in response to the assumption that the Atlantis team found the Lost City, Dr. Novak states, "As far as we know, the Atlantis team found another outpost like the one in Antarctica. Could be on a moon, or at the bottom of some deep, dark ocean."
  • Star Trek: Enterprise did this a lot:
    • On finding out that the Borg have adapted to their phase pistols, one character remarks that "we might as well have been firing holographic bullets".
      • To clarify, a holographic gun was how Picard killed two drones in First Contact.
      • At the end of that episode, Archer finds out that the Borg managed to send a subspace transmission to the Delta Quadrant. He estimates that it'll take about 200 years for it to reach its destination. Two centuries later, Picard makes First Contact with the Borg (even though TNG never said the Borg were on their way to the Alpha Quadrant).
    • One episode had Malcolm Reed working on an automatic tactical alert procedure. Trip refers to it as "Reed Alert".
    • In one episode the crew find a colony in which only two people are real, the rest are holographic representations of dead people. Archer tries to encourage them to leave by arguing "What will you do if one of you gets sick? Create a holographic doctor?"
    • An Organian secretly observing the crew predicts they'll have barely 5000 years to prepare for First Contact with humanity, the joke being that we know it'll happen a lot sooner (TOS "Errand of Mercy").
    • T'Les' criticisms of her daughter T'Pol's relationship with Trip Tucker are particularly poignant, knowing what we do about Spock's troubles regarding his own mixed parentage.
      "Do you really believe that a human and a Vulcan can have a future together? Imagine the shame your children would endure, assuming that the two of you could have children."
  • The Tudors:
    • In season one, Henry VIII says to Anne Boleyn, "Your neck. I love your neck." Everyone who knows the history - or Googles Anne Boleyn - knows that in season two he'll be paying a French swordsman to sever that neck.
    • On meeting Catherine Howard, Henry asks her if she can write. She tells him "enough to write a letter". It is her love letter to Culpepper that eventually gets her killed.

    Music 
  • Lupe Fiasco's The Die (A prequel to The Cool) combines this with Continuity Nod— Michael Young History's unnamed friend says "And if them niggas do kill you in the next few minutes, just remember my nigga, it's a heaven for a G," a reference to "The Cool" (Michael Young History)'s line "Hustler for death, no Heaven for a gangster" in the first CD.

    Theater 
  • Wicked has some straight mythology gags like Elphaba's line "I'll be so happy I could melt," but also a less comedic instance: her vision of "a celebration throughout Oz that's all to do with me."
    Nessarose: What's in the punch?
    Boq: Lemons and melons and pears-
    Nessarose: Oh my.
  • Peter and the Starcatcher (a prequel to Peter Pan) has a gag with the boys, when they're lost:
    Boys: We're lost!
    Molly: (scolding them for their outburst) Boys!
    Boys: We're lost!
    Molly: Boys!

     Web Video 
  • Vaguely Recalling JoJo
    • Joseph says that Jotaro has a cigarette one-liner. Jotaro says that is a spoiler.
    • Steely Dan tells everyone not to confuse his name with the title of Steel Ball Run.
    • Bruford calls his ability Love Deluxe.
    • A non-vampire Straizo calls Dio's eye beam attack Space Ripper Stingy Eyes and tosses a grenade at the zombies.
    • Jonathan uses Joseph's deflection trick when dealing with the Space Ripper Stingy Eyes.

    Video Games 
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution does this a lot. But just to name one for this page, the drug Neuropozene is needed for augmented people to prevent the parts from being rejected by their bodies. The company that produces the drug? Versalife.
    • Also, if you read people's email, there are several correspondences with a J. Manderley.
    • In the opening cutscene, Bob Page can be seen making plans with his fellow conspirators, most likely to mirror the opening scene from the first game. The Stinger features Page speaking with Morgan Everett about the Morpheus Initiative, the program they created prior to the first game that led to the development of advanced AIs like Daedalus and Icarus.
    • At one point Hugh Darrow laments that he feels like Helios, watching people augmented with his technology fly too close to the sun, fearing that they will fly too high and come crashing down.
    • One of the game's pre-order bonuses is an extra quest added on to the main storyline. Before the local Triad leader will help you out, you have to rescue his kidnapped son. The game never flat out states it, but it's pretty obvious to anyone familiar with the series that he's Tracer Tong, an important character from the first game.
  • Due to Kojima's love for breaking the fourth wall, and the fact that the game is set in the past by a few decades, Metal Gear Solid 3 is rife with this.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3, Naked Snake and Para-Medic discuss Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Snake dismisses human cloning as 'sci-fi nonsense'.
    • Snake is also astounded at the idea of "a movie where you control the characters".
    • Naked Snake says 'I've never been interested in anyone else's life,' inadvertently quoting his son from the first Metal Gear Solid.
    • The phrase, 'in the 21st century' means an awkward attempt at a Real Life version of this will occur.
    • During a codec call with Para-Medic discussing James Bond films. Major Zero interjects and declares "I wouldn't be surprised if they made 20 more of those movies."
  • In Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations, the first case is a prequel, and it features normally-bald prosecutor Winston Payne with hair and a tougher attitude: he loses both when you win and becomes more like himself from the previous games.
    • Also, if you present your badge often enough to some characters in the third game you're told you might lose it one day, suggesting hints towards Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. Doesn't help Apollo nearly beat being out in the USA before Phoenix Wright 3, and actually beat it by several months in Europe.
    • There's an interesting example of this in the third case of Investigations: Examining the stage area after it's been reconstructed by Little Thief will show a Gavinner's symbol (the stylized "G"), and examining the sign next to the stage advertises not only the concert, but also a "battle of magic" between Max Galactica and Troupe Gramarye. The first is especially interesting, because in the flashback case in Apollo Justice, Klavier mentions that his band recently got popular.
    • The fourth case of Investigations is practically made of this, due to being a flashback to four years before the beginning of the series. References range from Miles commenting on the fire extinguisher used to clonk Phoenix over the head in 2-1 to more serious matters such as the crimes and execution of Manfred von Karma. It turns to Tearjerker when Franziska mentions that she can't imagine what she'd do if her father died.
    • The DS remake of the first game added a fifth case, which included references to the Phoenix Wright games that had been released by then. For example, if you checked around the evidence storage room, you'd find the bug sweeper that Phoenix would eventually use in Justice for All, complete with Gumshoe noting that it might become useful in the future.
  • Anastasia in Shadow Hearts: Covenant notes that there might be trouble if her parents don't improve their relationship with their people. The Anastasia in question is Princess Anastasia Romanova. Covenant takes place in 1915. The only saving grace is that history in the Shadow Hearts universe is vastly different from ours, giving her at least a chance at not getting put against the wall in 1917...
    • Considering the Anastasia of Shadow Hearts is someone who's gone up against Eldritch Abominations and survived (even bullying one into submission in a Bonus Dungeon) it's tough to see her going out like that.
  • Fire Emblem: Blazing Blade is a prequel to the previous game, Fire Emblem: Binding Blade, and feature a few foreshadowing moments. Since Blazing Blade was the first game to be released in the west, while Binding Blade was never released, western players who weren't researching the previous game were a little confused. One major example is that Prince Zephiel, a character the heroes must protect in Blazing Blade, grows up to become the antagonist of Binding Blade.
    • Another big example is the appearance of Sophia near the end of Blazing Blade; without knowing that she's a major character in Binding Blade and important to the story, western players generally take her for a random cute girl that gives the hero an item after some mysterious dialog.
      • Another one is the appearance of the Manakete Fae in chapter 22. She's in the NPC house, and Hawkeye says her name if he goes in there.
  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days is chock full of these, not the least of which being Axel telling Roxas about summer vacation, to which Roxas replies that he couldn't handle more than a week. Kingdom Hearts II begins with Roxas and a group of kids (who appear in 358 as a couple of Call Forwards themselves) during their last week of summer vacation.
    • What's our boss' name?"
    • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep has some too, most notably Ven saying "My friends are my power!" and Xehanort reciting word-for-word his "Darkness is the heart's true essence" speech.
      • Bonus points for the latter : he recites the speech after his Grand Theft Me on Terra, so it's the same person (the would-be apprentice Xehanort/Ansem seeker of darkness) reciting the same speech. Of course, he himself doesn't remember it due to Laser-Guided Amnesia.
      • In the secret ending, Terra says Xehanort is going to get "shown the door." At the end of the original game, that's exactly what happens.
  • Several in Knights of the Old Republic, as might be expected. For instance, Kreia's prediction that the Mandalorians will eventually be reduced to "a shell of a man, too easily slain by Jedi", i.e. Jango Fett. (Although this technically stops neither the Mandalorians nor the Fett bloodline. Kreia is like that sometimes.)
    • Since Mandalorians are a culture, not a single species, there's no reason why someone can't call himself a Mandalorian and follow this way of life. EU has plenty of non-human Mandalorians.
    • Some of the names are also references to famous characters from the primary era. For instance, the Republic leader in the first game, Admiral Dodonna, is a nod to the Rebel general of the same name in A New Hope. The Old Republic keeps up this grand tradition, most notably on Alderaan, which is famous for its feuding noble houses — Organa and Thul. (One quest mentions a particular affinity between the Thuls and the Killik aliens, a tip to the Swarm War trilogy.)
  • Final Fantasy XII's Bestiary gives a brief mention of the beginnings of Final Fantasy Tactics's dominant Church of Glabados and its false prophet/demonic founder, Saint Ajora. This mention causes a bit of a translation plot hole, as Ajora is a woman in the Japanese version and a man in English. FFT itself had a bit of trouble with Ajora's gender as well.
    • Other plot holes exist here as well. FFXII takes place too far in the past for Ajora to have existed yet, the 13 Espers have not yet become the 12 (+1) Lucavi that Ajora used to cause the events she would eventually be worshipped for....
  • In Devil May Cry 3, Vergil acquires the Beowulf gauntlets and pulls off some rather... impressive martial arts. The game is a prequel to the first. In the first game, after the first Nelo Angelo fight, the boss drops his sword and gets the drop on Dante with his bare hands. Nelo Angelo is actually Vergil.
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police:
    • Episode 204, "Chariots of the Dogs", has you visit the office shortly into the future, at which point you exchange a remote control for an egg. You exchange the egg for the remote control in episode 205.
    • Also from episode 204: when the past Sam and Max (from episode 102) confront their present selves:
    Past Sam: Max and I need to get to the Moon. How do we get there?
    Present Sam: Why don't you just drive there? (as they do in episode 106)
    Past Sam: You can't just drive to the Moon, bonehead.
    Past Max: Sheesh, Sam... our future selves have no respect for plausibility.
  • In the end of the second Mega Man arcade game, Wily reveals that he's working on his ultimate robot, while Bass just snarks that it's girly-looking and will be a loser like all of Wily's other non-Bass robots. The player can, naturally, see Zero's silhouette.
    • It is no secret that Mega Man's storyline eventually leads into Mega Man X down the road. It's also no secret that in X, a virus is causing reploids to go turn into Mavericks. Cue Mega Man 10's storyline...
  • After showing off his skills in car combat, a character in Interstate '76 (set in The Seventies) says "Damn, I'm so good, they should name a car after me." His name? Taurus.
  • In Day Of The Tentacle, Hoagie gets stuck two centuries in the past and, in an attempt to get back to his own time, aids Ben Franklin in the discovery of electric current. In return, Franklin promises to name one of his inventions after him.
  • Being the source of one of the page quotes, Quest for Glory has a couple of such Call Forwards. In Quest for Glory II, two of the Magic User's potential sponsors shown are a completely black portrait (identified as the "Dark Master"), and Erana (when chosen, the Wizards say that she hasn't answered their summons for some time and asks you to choose again). Quest for Glory IV reveals both the identity of the Dark Master, and what exactly happened to Erana.
    • Taken a step further in the fan remake; if you insist upon having the Dark Master as your mentor, you get a Non-Standard Game Over where the Wizards get so incensed that they teleport you to Mordavia, the setting of QFG4, and your Have a Nice Death message mentions that you aren't strong enough to survive there.
  • ALLTYNEX Second is completely littered with these.
  • A now-removed quest-chain in World of Warcraft has a character in Stormwind sarcastically utter the phrase "Next you're going to tell me that Deathwing is still alive and attacking the city." Guess what happened when the Cataclysm expansion was released...
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: The Gears of Destiny, which is set between Nanoha A's and Nanoha Strikers, has Chrono musing about how Nanoha's a natural at testing prototype weapons and namedrops the currently-in-development Blaster System, an upgrade that would eventually serve as Nanoha's Super Mode in StrikerS
  • Syndicate's reboot has quite a few. Amongst these are the co-op missions taking place in areas the original games used. The Western Europe map shown in the demo is broadly similar to the original's in having to kill a Colonel, although resistance is much stiffer here.
  • In the VGA remake of Space Quest, the Time Pod from Space Quest IV lands as you leave Ulence Flats.
  • In the best ending of The Art of Theft Trilby decides to go back to England and start breaking into manors of the recently deceased, figuring it would be safer. He does this in 5 Days A Stranger: it backfires horribly.
  • Grand Theft Auto III featured an 80s hits station called Flashback 95.6, which was hosted by a woman named Toni. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, which takes place in The Eighties, has her hosting a pop station called "Flash". Some of the comments she makes on Flash are also Call Forwards to some she makes on Flashback.
  • Metroid: Other M is a prequel to Fusion. Adam's initial, human form is seen here, as well as Nightmare. It also explains how Ridley ended up as a frozen husk on the BSL in Fusion- Ridley was actually Killed Off For Real in Super Metroid, and the Federation accidentally cloned him. This clone was sucked dry by a Metroid Queen. The husk and Nightmare's body are missing in the Playable Epilogue, most likely being moved to the BSL.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage For The Future: Polnareff, surprisingly, has a few references to Part 5 in him. One super has a Stand Arrow fly out of nowhere and turn Silver Chariot into its Requiem form, putting the opponent to sleep while Polnareff remarks that he can "feel fate within the bow and arrow." (Although Polnareff's still alive this time and the Stand reverts to its previous form afterward.) Furthermore, one of his win vocals translates to him telling the opponent (and the player) that they'll "meet again in the future, in Italy." If you want to be technical, the Arrow could also reference Part 4, where it debuts.

    Webcomics 
  • In Chapter 3 of Gunnerkrigg Court, Antimony defends her friend Kat from a bully by Judo-flipping him. One of the teachers, Mr. Eglamore, tells Annie that was against the rules, and then he compliments her throw and tells her that it was noble to stand up for her friend. In Chapter 22, a Whole Episode Flashback shows the young Eglamore getting into a fight in defense of his friends, and receiving a similar warning and compliment from Mr. Thorn.
  • Since it's set as a prequel to Metal Gear Solid, The Last Days of Foxhound has these a few times. Vulcan Raven even does it in character, since he can see a limited amount of the future, and teases Ocelot on whether or not his hand will get chopped off.
  • A common source of humor in Darths & Droids, as it is an alternate take on the Star Wars universe; for instance, when Anakin and Chancellor Palpatine have just fallen down an elevator shaft, the Chancellor quips, "This is fun. Perhaps I'll install a huge bottomless pit in my quarters for no apparent reason." Considering how the Canon Palpatine meets his end...
  • Roommates has some pages (like this) dedicated to the childhood of Jareth and the whole thing is this for Labyrinth, when it isn't Foreshadowing the comic. On the linked page his mother uses the same monologue that becomes his undoing and small Jareth says the words that "will" become the title song.

    Western Animation 
  • One episode of The Simpsons features a flashback to Grampa's time in World War II. When Burns suggests stealing some Nazi paintings, Grampa rationalizes it by saying he needs to put away some money for retirement, after all he'd hate to be put in one of those homes...
    • In the flashback episode "I Married Marge", after Homer is first hired by Mr. Burns to work at the power plant, Burns comments to Smithers: "Simpson, eh? I'll remember that name."
    • "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" had Homer introduce his children to his long-lost half-brother Herbert. Herbert then discreetly asked Homer if they were all born in wedlock, to which he replies "Yeah, though the boy was a close call." Fast forward to the episode "I Married Marge" where Homer and Marge got married, because they found out that Marge was pregnant with Bart.
  • The Teen Titans episode "Go!" is practically made up of these. Notable ones include Cyborg saying "I'm only gonna say this once—Booya!" and the team stopping by an island (that of course will eventually house their headquarters) and Cyborg comments that "somebody should build a house out here."
  • Batman Beyond: During the two-parter that led to the Justice League show, Old!Bruce mentions he was never fond of travelling via boom tube. In a Darkseid-related episode of Justice League, we see him use one and, yep, he looks ready to collapse afterwards. Most of the guys we see using them in the DCAU are Physical Gods.
  • In the Family Guy episode where Peter tells Death how he is devoted to Lois, Quagmire mentions how he hopes Peter will find her again. Peter responds that he hopes Quagmire lives next door to him someday.
  • An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island possibly does this with what Fievel says at the beginning:
    Fievel: I dreamed that we moved out West where I became a famous gunslinger!
    Tanya: Yeah, like that would ever happen.
    Fievel: It seemed real to me!
  • In the 2008 Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, in one episode, Anakin had to interrogate the Geonosian leader Poggle to learn how to get rid of a certain batch of mind-controlling worms. Poggle proved uncooperative, and Anakin used Force Grip on him; cue Imperial March, foreshadowing Anakin's impending transformation into Darth Vader.
    • Before that, at the end of the second Clone Wars miniseries, Anakin thrusts his broken mechanical hand at an alien Mad Scientist. The alien seizes up, and his breathing apparatus is crushed...
  • In the near end of "Code Lyoko" pre-sequel, Odd remarks that "Sissi is going to give them a lot of grief."
  • Batman: The Animated Series: Zatara and Zatanna are training the young "John Smith" in escape artistry.
    Zatanna: Pick a card and I'll tell you your future. Mm, I see intrigue, danger, mystery. Two of hearts?
    "John": Joker.

    Real Life 
  • Similar to this there is a real phenomenon known as Jamais Vu (French for "never seen", opposite of Déjà Vu, "already seen"), the sense that you are in a familiar situation but don't recognize it.

Call BackIn JokeContinuity Nod

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